Happy Birthday, Dr. Seuss! Davis School Celebrates Read Across America 2017

The Davis School faculty got into the spirit of the day. Back row left to right: Kevin Smaldone (Cat in the Hat), Christina Avis (Horton), Principal Beth Benoit, Julie Sutton (Grinch), Jennifer Wayne-Bartett (Cat in the Hat), Stacy Vallely (Farmer Brown) Front row: Tricia White (Thing 1) and Lisa Bourgeois (Thing 2) – Image (c) Linda White, 2017 all rights reserved

By Linda White

Dr. Seuss readers in Anita Petrocelli’s first grade classroom – Image (c) Linda White, 2017 all rights reserved

His birthday is widely celebrated by both children and adults across America on March 2, but he never seems to age like the rest of us. The life work of Dr. Seuss, also known as Theodor Seuss Geisel (March 2, 1904 – September 24, 1991), remains timeless, relevant, and beloved.

Principal Benoit with student flag raisers, one of whom wore his Dr. Seuss ‘hat’ – Image (c) Linda White, 2017 all rights reserved

To start each day, a small group of Davis School students is invited to lead the school in the Pledge of Allegiance and to help raise the American flag. Today was no exception. In fact, the students with Principal Beth Davis raised the flag in 49 mph wind gusts that nearly threatened to take them and the flag skyward!

Principal Benoit welcomes a sea of students in Cat in the Hat hats to the Read Across America 2017 assembly – Image (c) Linda White, 2017 all rights reserved

Back on the ground and in their classrooms, students donned their Cat in the Hat paper hats and made their way to the gymnasium for a special assembly celebrating Dr. Seuss and Read Across America Day. In 1998, through an effort to promote “the joys of reading and cultivating good reading habits that will last kids a lifetime,” the National Education Foundation (NEA) asked schools to celebrate reading and the birthday of Dr. Seuss. It became the largest celebration of reading this country had ever seen, and after 20 years has become an annual reading event that includes community members, parents, and students from BHS who come into the classroom to read and share a Dr. Seuss story with a class.

During the assembly, students shared Dr. Seuss’s biography and a poem, sang Happy Birthday to Dr. Seuss, and were surprised and delighted when the Cat in the Hat (second-grade teacher Kevin Smaldone) jumped out of a giant birthday cake constructed by second-grade teacher, Susan Nocera.

Celebration organizers and reading specialists Jennifer Wayne-Bartlett and Christina Avis would like to acknowledge and thank Assistant Principal Jessica Colby for coordinating the guest readers from Bedford High School; Alison Hannah and Paula Francis-Springer for their musical talents on piano and electric guitar; Susan Nocera for a beautiful and inventive cake; Ali Lua and Kim Peterson’s classes for reading a Seuss poem and writing/sharing the Dr. Seuss biography, respectively; and Lucas Taddeo and the tech department for set up.

Classroom activities today and throughout the week include Dr. Seuss word searches, puzzles, and favorite books. The Davis cafeteria offered a special Dr. Seuss menu that included Green Eggs and Ham, One Fish, Two Fish goldfish and Who pudding.

“You’re never too old, too wacky, too wild, to pick up a book and read with a child.” – Dr. Seuss

Make some time today to read or reread your favorite Dr. Seuss book.

A teacher in Grade 2, Susan Nocera constructed a special birthday cake to mark today’s celebration – Image (c) Linda White, 2017 all rights reserved
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